If you’ve been holding out to play Alan Wake, you need to act fast. The psychological thriller from Remedy Entertainment will be removed from Steam and the Xbox Marketplace later today.
Alan Wake’s departure from digital stores is the result of expiring music licenses for tracks used throughout the game. For those with a fuzzy memory, each chapter of the game ended with a licensed song from artists including Depeche Mode, Harry Nilsson, and the late David Bowie.
With the removal of Alan Wake announced over the weekend, Remedy responded with a “Sunset Sale,” discounting the game by 90% on steam. The sale is also extended to spin-off title, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. Licensing issues for the original Alan Wake will not affect American Nightmare. Players on the Xbox are not receiving a discount for either game. Instead, The Writer and The Signal, single player expansions for Alan Wake, are both currently available for free on the Xbox Marketplace.
Once purchased, players will continue to have access to the game and the expansions, even after they disappear from the marketplace.
Remedy is currently in talks to try and renew the licenses, but there is no timeline for those talks or if anything will eventually come from them. Due to some engineering and resource issues from the game’s development, Remedy is unable to remove the music from the game. At this time there is no telling if or when Alan Wake will return to digital stores.
No matter where you play, make sure you pick up your digital copy of Alan Wake before it’s too late.
What do you think of the issue with licensing in games and the push to digital distribution? Does this make you nervous for the future of digital gaming? Let us know in the comments below.